The following video is part of our "Motley Fool Conversations" series, in which editor/analyst Isaac Pino and consumer goods editor/analyst Austin Smith discuss topics across the investing world.

In today's edition, Isaac and Austin discuss the ongoing debate over private equity and venture capital. Is this industry good for industries? For the economy? For investors? Shareholders need to understand the risks involved, the debt-loaded stocks to avoid, and the companies where activism is providing impressive returns.

Austin Smith and Isaac Pino have no positions in the stocks mentioned above. The Motley Fool owns shares of Staples. Motley Fool newsletter services recommend Pacific Sunwear and Staples. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.